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[448] which he lived, a few law books and some household furniture. He owned a small tract of land in Iowa which yielded him nothing, and the annual income from his law practice did not exceed $3,000; yet the party's committee in Chicago were dunning their late standard-bearer, who, besides the chagrin of his defeat, his own expenses, and the sacrifice of his time, was asked to aid in meeting the general expenses of the campaign. At this day one is a little surprised that some of the generous and wealthy members of the party in Chicago or elsewhere did not come forward and volunteer their aid. But they did not, and whether Lincoln felt in his heart the injustice of this treatment or not, he went straight ahead in his own path and said nothing about it.

Political business being off his hands, he now conceived the idea of entering the lecture field. He began preparations in the usual way by noting down ideas on stray pieces of paper, which found a lodgment inside his hat, and finally brought forth in connected form a lecture on “Inventions.” He recounted the wonderful improvements in machinery, the arts, and sciences. Now and then he indulged in a humorous paragraph, and witticisms were freely sprinkled throughout the lecture. During the winter he delivered it at several towns in the central part of the State, but it was so commonplace, and met with such indifferent success, that he soon dropped it altogether.1 The effort met with

1 “As we were going to Danville court I read to Lincoln a lecture by Bancroft on the wonderful progress of man, delivered in the preceding November. Sometime later he told us-Swett and me — that he had been thinking much on the subject and believed he would write a lecture on Man and His Progress. Afterwards I re a~d in a paper that he had come to either Bloomington or Clinton to lecture and no one turned out. The paper added, ‘That doesn't look much like his being President.’ I once joked him about it;, e s? id good-naturedly ‘Don't; that plagues me.’ ” --Henry a. Whitney letter, Aug. 27, 1867.

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